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Télé Liban

In October 1954, two Lebanese businessmen, Wissam Ezzeddine and Alex Moufarrej, submitted a request to create a TV station. In August 1956, the Lebanese government granted them a television company license under the name Compagnie Libanaise de Télévision (CLT) for a period of 15 years. In the spring of 1957, then Lebanese President Camille Chamoun and Prime Minister Sami Solh laid down the foundations for the first TV station building in the Middle East, on a sandy hill in Beirut called Tallet El-Khayat. On May 28, 1959, the station was officially launched by General Sleiman Nawfal, CLT’s first General Manager. It aired programs in two languages, operating two VHF channels: Canal 7 (an Arabic-speaking channel) and Canal 9 (a French-speaking channel). During that period, broadcasting time did not exceed six hours per day, from 6 pm to midnight. CLT’s success encouraged a group of Lebanese businessmen to set up and form a second television named Télé-Orient, which obtained its own license in July 1961. The station began operating in May 1962 from its headquarters in Hazmieh, east of the capital, and was known under the names of Canal 5 and Canal 11.

Télé Liban’s activity is marked by three periods: the first one from the late 1950s until the late 1970s. The second period started in 1978 when CLT and Télé-Orient merged as a joint venture company, equally divided between the public and the private sectors and operated under the name of Télé Liban. Télé Liban was granted a license for 25 years with a monopoly over broadcasting until 2012. As for the third period, it started in 1996 when the State bought all the private sector shares. The private sector shares had previously been bought by more than one investor, the latest being former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri who acquired all the private sector shares.

Télé Liban's monopoly was removed under the 1994 Audiovisual Media Law, and several private stations were granted broadcasting licenses. Since then, Télé Liban found itself facing tremendous competition, which impacted its advertising revenues. The TV station was shut down in February 2001 and its employees were all laid off by decision of the Council of Ministers; it would be reopened within three months. However, three months were not enough to reorganize Télé Liban as required and, according to TV standards, it was reopened prematurely on May 25, 2001 and a modest budget of 120,000 USD was allocated monthly by the government. Télé Liban’s latest chairman was Talal Makdessi, whose mandate witnessed significant technological developments. It started airing using fiber optic cables since the shift of work has transformed from analogue to digital. Also, when Makdessi took over the TV channel, Télé Liban had 19 broadcasting stations in the different Lebanese regions but only 5 of them were operational. Now, 17 of them are functional and Télé Liban became the first to cover more than 95% of the Lebanese territories. Télé Liban also broadcasted the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cup games. Conflict occurred between then Minister of Information Melhem Riachi and Chairman Talal Makdessi in March 2017 (Riachi believes Makdessi “never complied with the Ministry’s requests to cease his violations of the company’s regulations. […] These serious distortions have provoked very strong reactions from officials and employees within the channel, which has led us to resort to legal proceedings.”) This led to a judicial decision on May 26, 2017 following which Makdessi was dismissed. On August 11, 2021, then-Minister of Information Manal Abdel Samad assigned Toufic Trabulsi as the TL Board Chairman and Director- General. The decision included creating an interim administration for Télé Liban, pending the appointment of a proper board by the competent authority, with the membership of Trabulsi as Director-General and two members of the Board of Directors: Viviane Lebbos and Misbah Majzoub. On January 14, 2022, Viviane Lebbos was appointed as the interim director. On January 20, 2023, Minister of Information Ziad Makari took over the management of TL from the interim director Viviane Lebbos, pursuant to a judicial decision that relieved Lebbos of duty.

Key facts

Ownership Type

Public

Geographic Coverage

National

Content Type

Free content

Data Publicly Available

ownership data is easily available from other sources, e. g. public registries etc.

2 ♥

Media Companies / Groups

Télé Liban SAL

Ownership

Ownership Structure

Télé Liban SAL is owned by the Lebanese State.

Voting Rights

Missing Data

Individual Owner

Group / Individual Owner

Touma Arida

?
Media Companies / Groups
Facts

General Information

Founding Year

1954

Affiliated Interests Founder

Wissam Ezzeddine and Alex Moufarrej; then Charles Rizk, Radwan Moulawi, Youssef Takla, Farouk Mahfouz, Compagnie Libanaise de Télévision S.A.L. and Télé- Orient S.A.L.

Affiliated Interests Ceo

Ziad Makari

Minister of Information

Affiliated Interests Editor-In-Chief

Jalal Assaf

Editor-in-Chief

Contact

Phone: +961 (1) 788800

Email: info@teleliban.com.lb

Website: www.teleliban.com.lb

Address: Tallet El Khayat, Corniche Channel 7, Beirut

P.O.Box 4848

Financial Information

Revenue (in Mill. $)

State budget: 20,000,000,000 L.L. annually (approximate - 2023 source)

Operating Profit (in Mill. $)

Missing Data

Advertising (in % of total funding)

Missing Data

Market Share

Missing Data

Further Information

Headlines

Chidiac, M. (2014). La television mise à nu. L'Orient des Livres. (Available in French only).

Meta Data

2024 audience share for all outlets is based on data provided by ELKA. Cumulative amounts are used to assess the audience share indicator. 2024 and 2021 data on shareholder fractions, company information, revenue, and management are acquired by the collaborative investigative efforts of SEEDS for Legal Initiatives and the Samir Kassir Foundation. Audience share data is unavailable for online outlets.

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